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Genetics and Genomics Governance Document

The Governance Document is currently being updated.

Interdepartmental Genetics Governance Document

                This document contains the general rules for governance of the Interdepartmental Genetics Major, referred to hereafter as simply Interdepartmental Genetics.  This document was approved by a vote of the Interdepartmental Genetics (IG) faculty on July 13, 1998.   Document was updated April 2004 (see approved changes at end of document).  The document was updated February 2015. 

  Relationship of Interdepartmental Genetics to the Department of Zoology and Genetics

                As specified in the founding document for the Interdepartmental Genetics Major (Proposal for an Interdepartmental Genetics Major, dated 2/17/92), the Department of Zoology and Genetics has responsibility for the Interdepartmental Genetics Major and provides partial secretarial service and other support.  Because of this relationship to IG, the Department of Zoology and Genetics is granted special status in matters relating to governance.  These are described where relevant within this document, and in the Proposal for an Interdepartmental Genetics Major.

Participating Departments

                Any department at Iowa State University may apply to participate in the Interdepartmental Genetics program.  Application is made by sending a memo requesting the right to participate to the IG Supervisory Committee.  Criteria for acceptance into the program are 1) presence within the department of faculty who are actively involved in genetics research and graduate training, 2) willingness of the department to “house” genetics graduate students, that is, to provide laboratory space, office or desk space, and access to departmental facilities and services, 3) willingness of the department or its faculty to provide financial support for graduate students majoring in genetics.  

                The right of a department to participate in IG is retained so long as the department continues to have faculty who are members of IG.  If no faculty within a department have been members of IG for over one year, then the membership of the department will lapse.  In the event of university reorganization, departments created from existing member departments will retain membership so long as they continue to meet the criteria for acceptance.  It is the responsibility of the Chair of IG to contact the newly created departments to confirm their desire to retain membership and their intention to continue meeting the criteria for acceptance.

               Participating departments as of the date of passage of this Governance Document are: Agronomy, Animal Science, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Botany, Entomology, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Forestry, Horticulture, Microbiology, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Plant Pathology, Statistics, Zoology and Genetics.         

Faculty Membership

                To be awarded a degree in Genetics, a student’s major professor must be a formally elected member of Interdepartmental Genetics (IG).  Any faculty member at Iowa State University who is actively involved in genetics research and graduate training and who is a member of a participating department may apply for membership in IG.  Membership must be renewed every five years.

                Prospective faculty should submit applications to the Supervisory Committee, which will recommend actions to be taken to the IG faculty at large.  Information to be contained in the application and recommended standards for acceptance will be established by the Supervisory Committee.  Acceptance or renewal of membership will be determined by a vote of the IG membership.

Administration

                Chair and Associate Chair

                All activities of the Interdepartmental Genetics program will be coordinated by a Chair elected by the IG faculty.  The term of office for the Chair is two years.

                The Chair’s responsibilities include carrying out existing program policies, suggesting new policies, administering the budget, serving as a liaison with higher administration, coordinating the efforts of IG committees, and supervising office staff.  The Chair’s responsibilities may be changed at any time at the discretion of the Supervisory Committee.  The Chair may also assign responsibilities to other IG Committees, the Associate Chair, faculty or staff; in this instance, however, the Chair will assume responsibility for assuring that the tasks are performed satisfactorily.

                Before assuming office, the Chair will normally have served two years as Associate Chair.  The duties of the Associate Chair are to share in administrative duties, as assigned by the active Chair.  This will relieve the Chair of some duties, provide training for the Associate Chair, and provide more administrative continuity to the program.

                The IG Associate Chair and Chair must be members of IG.  Elections for Associate Chair (future Chair) will be held every two years and will be administered by the Supervisory Committee.  Nominations will be solicited from the IG membership and nominees willing to serve will be voted upon by the membership.  Elections should be held by May 15; terms will start on August 1.

                Supervisory Committee

                A Supervisory Committee will be responsible for review of all aspects of the program, for guiding the establishment of policy, for interpreting and implementing policies that have been established by the IG membership, and for advising the Chair. 

                In all decisions, each member, including the Chair, will have one vote.  In case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the Chair, the Supervisory Committee will have final authority.  In the case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the faculty, the faculty view, as determined by referenda, shall prevail.

                Membership

                The Supervisory Committee shall consist of six faculty of Interdepartmental Genetics, including the Chair and Associate Chair.  The members should be selected to provide broad representation from participating departments and representation of all major aspects of our curriculum (such as molecular, transmission, and quantitative/population/evolutionary genetics).  This is to ensure the breadth necessary to be a truly interdisciplinary program.

                Supervisory Committee members (excluding the Chair and Associate Chair) will serve for four years.  One member of this committee will be replaced every year.  Members may be re-elected to consecutive terms. 

                The Supervisory Committee will be elected by the IG faculty.  Elections will be held every year before May 15 and will be administered by the Supervisory Committee.  Nominations will be solicited from the IG membership, with specific emphasis on ensuring that the nominees fulfill IG’s commitment to broad representation.  Nominees willing to serve will be voted upon by the IG membership.  Terms will start on August 1.  The Supervisory Committee may appoint an IG member on a temporary basis (until the next scheduled election) to complete any unfinished term of a Committee member or Associate Chair, or to substitute for a Committee member or Associate Chair on leave.

                Non-voting Membership

                All Principal Investigators (PI) or Program Directors (PD) on all training grants obtained for the purpose of supplying stipends for majors in genetics will serve as non-voting members of the Supervisory Committee.  Ex-Chairs will serve as non-voting members for one year after the completion of their terms.

Meetings

               To insure good communication between the Chair and the Supervisory Committee, the Supervisory Committee should meet monthly, preferably at a regularly scheduled time.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to call the meetings; if the Chair is not available, meetings may be called by the Associate Chair.

Committees

                Committees of IG Faculty will be established as needed to perform tasks and advise the Chair on matters such as student admissions, curriculum, academic standards and faculty membership.  Members will be appointed by the Chair.  The number, membership, and responsibilities of the committees may be modified at any time at the discretion of the Chair.  In cases of disagreement between a Committee and the Chair, the Chair will have final authority.

Faculty Meetings

                Full faculty meetings should be held twice per year to update faculty on IG activities and to discuss issues of importance to the group.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to call the meetings; if the Chair is not available, the meetings may be called by the Associate Chair.

Elections and Referenda

                Except as noted below in the sections on ‘Establishment of Policies’ and ‘Changes in the Governance Document’, all elections and referenda will be determined by a majority vote of the IG membership who respond to the call for votes.  At least 50% of the membership must vote for an election or referendum to be valid.

Establishment of Policies

                All policies modifying core-course requirements and major changes in genetics core-course content must be approved by a majority of the total IG membership.  As required by the Formal Proposal instituting the Interdepartmental Genetics Major (dated 2/17/92), these changes must be approved also by the faculty of the Department of Zoology and Genetics. 

                All other policies may be established by a vote of the Supervisory Committee.  However, the Supervisory Committee should consult with the faculty when making significant policy decisions and should hold referenda for policy changes likely to be controversial.  In addition, all policy decisions by the Supervisory Committee must be announced to the faculty; if three or more faculty object to a policy, a referendum must be held to determine its acceptance or rejection.  Referenda on such policies will be determined by a majority vote of the IG membership who respond to the call for votes; at least 50% of the membership must vote for a referendum to be valid. 

Changes in the Governance Document

                Policies contained within this Governance Document may be changed by a majority vote of the total IG membership. 

These changes were approved.

 

April 16, 2004

Two proposed changes to the IG Governance DocumentThe IG Governance Document contains two phrases that directly reference the former Department of Zoology and Genetics.  Since this department ceased to exist with the recent restructuring of the biological sciences at ISU, these phrases became obsolete and the IG Supervisory Committee proposes to strike them.  This recommendation is supported by the Executive Committee of the Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology, which is one of the successors of the Department of Zoology and Genetics and is the only Department providing direct financial support to the IG Program.  The proposed changes are as follows.

Proposed Change #1

                Supervisory Committee

                A Supervisory Committee will be responsible for review of all aspects of the program, for guiding the establishment of policy, for interpreting and implementing policies that have been established by the IG membership, and for advising the Chair. 

                In all decisions, each member, including the Chair, will have one vote.  In case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the Chair, the Supervisory Committee will have final authority.  In the case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the faculty, the faculty view, as determined by referenda, shall prevail.

                Membership

                The Supervisory Committee shall consist of six faculty of Interdepartmental Genetics, including the Chair and Associate Chair.  As required by the Formal Proposal instituting the Interdepartmental Genetics Major (dated 2/17/92), two of these faculty must also be members of the Department of Zoology and Genetics.  The remaining members should be selected to provide broad representation from other participating departments and representation of all major aspects of our curriculum (such as molecular, transmission, and quantitative/population/evolutionary genetics).  This is to ensure the breadth necessary to be a truly interdisciplinary program.

                Supervisory Committee members (excluding the Chair and Associate Chair) will serve for four years.  One member of this committee will be replaced every year.  Members may be re-elected to consecutive terms. 

                The Supervisory Committee will be elected by the IG faculty.  Elections will be held every year before May 15 and will be administered by the Supervisory Committee.  Nominations will be solicited from the IG membership, with specific emphasis on ensuring that the nominees fulfill IG’s commitment to broad representation.  Nominees willing to serve will be voted upon by the IG membership.  Terms will start on August 1.  The Supervisory Committee may appoint an IG member on a temporary basis (until the next scheduled election) to complete any unfinished term of a Committee member or Associate Chair, or to substitute for a Committee member or Associate Chair on leave.

Proposed Change #2

Changes in the Governance Document

                Policies contained within this Governance Document may be changed by a majority vote of the total IG membership.  As required by the Formal Proposal instituting the Interdepartmental Genetics Major (dated 2/17/92), all changes modifying Zoology and Genetics representation on the Supervisory Committee must be approved in addition by the faculty of the Department of Zoology and Genetics.

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These Changes were approved:   February 2015

Existing:

Faculty Membership

              To be awarded a degree in Genetics, a student’s major professor must be a formally elected member of Interdepartmental Genetics (IG).  Any faculty member at Iowa State University who is actively involved in genetics research and graduate training and who is a member of a participating department may apply for membership in IG.  Membership must be renewed every five years.

              Prospective faculty should submit applications to the Supervisory Committee, which will recommend actions to be taken to the IG faculty at large.  Information to be contained in the application and recommended standards for acceptance will be established by the Supervisory Committee.  Acceptance or renewal of membership will be determined by a vote of the IG membership.

 Proposed:

Faculty Membership

               To be awarded a degree in Genetics, a student’s major professor must be a formally elected member of Interdepartmental Genetics (IG).  Any faculty member at Iowa State University who is actively involved in genetics research and graduate training and who is a member of a participating department may apply for membership in IG. Membership must be renewed every five years.

               Prospective faculty should submit applications to the Supervisory Committee, which will recommend actions to be taken to the IG faculty at large.  Information to be contained in the application and recommended standards for acceptance will be established by the Supervisory Committee.  Acceptance renewal of of membership will be determined by a vote of the IG membership.

 Membership must be renewed after every five years. Faculty will resubmit a full re-application for renewal on their first 5th year anniversary. On subsequent 5th year anniversaries, the faculty member will provide a statement indicating that they wish to continue to participate in the program to the chair. The chair or supervisory committee can request a full re-application and review for renewal if the faculty member’s contribution to teaching, service on committees and training of graduate students is viewed by the Chair as minimal. Procedures for re-application or a full review will be the same as for new membership applications.